It's a fine morning here in southern Indiana. It is about 20 minutes until 8:00 a.m. and there is true light outside. I can see color and that is my definition of true light. I have to prepare a little bit for Big John Lipscomb today, but that will not be tough. I think I know the material. I will try to bring out as much of what we talk about on Staying Alive as I possible can. The show will be tomorrow night and all should be ready. All of you who have contributed over the last several months should get a kick out of hearing the message on the radio. And every one of you contributed. I get emails occasionally from people who read the blog every day and I had no idea they even existed! But they are out there and they are paying attention and they are prepping and that makes them part of the family. And the people I meet that I never knew were out there inspire me greatly. Besides group survival I also believe in familyism. The building block of the world's civilizations.
In looking out over the fruit and nut trees in the near vicinity I am still amazed at the volume of production we have this Fall. The big Hickory is loaded. The little Persimmon tree has bushels on it. The limbs are practically dragging the ground. The small Walnut tree is burdened with nuts. I keep tabs on them from my porch and one six foot little limb had 15 Walnuts on it. One has fallen so there are 14 left. The tree itself is going to produce quite a crop this year. Maybe I can get the Handmaiden to make some Divinity Fudge with real honest-to-God Black Walnuts in it. You talk about a mind blower! I'm already hungry for it and I just finished breakfast. The Persimmons will go into pulp and maybe for Jam and Jelly. It is so sweet! And it breaks the monotony of regular Winter food. Not that I am not proud of having food for this Winter, because I am, but a little sweetness doesn't hurt every now and then. I have never eaten Hickory nuts but I have been told they are delicious. I intend to find out this Winter.
On the garden front the Handmaiden is going to work on getting us a big ol' pile of horse manure to use for soil enrichment. That soil needs the extra juice this year. Never pass up an opportunity to better your garden soil. Good farmers and gardeners grow good dirt. Seeds grow plants. If you have done your work of enriching the soil, the plants will do just fine. The ladies and the girls down at the horse barn are very faithful about cleaning out their stalls and keeping their horses healthy so I may as well avail myself of their labor. No sense letting a garden grow all stunted and unproductive. If I can get compost and a big helping of manure on the garden I will throw on some 300 grit builders lime or some dolomite and get it all tilled under. Then it will be time for Winter Wheat, to be used as green manure in the Spring. It's called a cover crop and it holds you soil through the wetness of Winter and Spring and when you plow it under it adds nutrients and organic matter to the dirt. You gotta feed that dirt if you want the dirt to feed you.
Our old friend the Great Blue Heron is down feeding in the lake/pond this morning, as per usual. He is normally a shy bird and doesn't hand around once the cars start up and start moving around. But this last couple of weeks he has been feeding real late into the morning, cars or no cars. I think he knows something about the time right ahead and wants to pack on a little weight before the coldness of Winter closes off a lot of his eating. He is the Mad Technician. That bird goes to eating and that is what he does, to the disdain of other things except an attack. And I have never seen anything attack a Heron. They are predators and they have that odor about them of flesh, a meat eater. That in itself keeps a lot of animals away from it. The ducks are eating all day now. No lazing about and sleeping and all that jazz. Those quackers are putting the food down as fast as they can go. They're munching out, I tell you. Our cats are eating heavily. A normal feeding leaves them hanging around begging for more food. Where we once fed them and they went to sleep their cat lives away, they now want more FOOD. Seems like all kinds of critters are eating heavy these days. This is telling me something about the coming Winter. We had temps in the 80's last week and the cats kept eating. The sunspots are rare this year. Seems like we have a Minimum going pretty strong. I am a firm believer in sunspots having a lot to do with our weather here on the planet and I use them to plan accordingly.
The food for Winter is almost in and the gathering pretty much finished. The Handmaiden is drying a few things for tea right now and she also has some oils and tinctures brewing. I am pretty proud of her and the doing of all of this. She is a real trooper. A real soldier. And she cooks some really kick-ass meals! I tell you, that woman is hard to beat.
I'll go for now. Don't forget the radio show tomorrow night. It could get really interesting. Work on your preps and stay alive!